Drought conditions worry Wisconsin farmers, severe heat coming

For some farmers in southeast Wisconsin, drought conditions are growing faster than their crops.

The soil at Witte's Vegetable Farm in Cedarburg is dry right now, so farmers have to get creative when it comes to getting beets out of the ground.

"We kind of run it over with a tractor to bring that moisture up," said Scott Witte.

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Witte is used to switching gears, but the recent drought has shifted his family's vegetable farm.

"When you don’t have a lot of rain, the crops don’t grow the way you really plan, so you have to plan around it," he said.

Witte's Vegetable Farm, Cedarburg

FOX6 Weather Experts say, when it comes to rainfall in July, we are above average. But since April, southeast Wisconsin is on its 14th driest year stretch. 

"It’s going to be a year where things aren’t going to be consistent," said Witte.

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Mother Nature now wants to throw a heat wave in the mix, throwing another curveball at farmers like Witte. The farm is rolling with the punches. 

"It’s a concern. Hopefully we get a little sprinkle, a little help," he said. "There’s really not much we can do, we don’t have irrigation on our farm.

"You plant accordingly and by the will of God really."

Hot temperatures coming

The last week of July could be one of the hottest all year. A massive heat dome causing record-breaking temperatures in the southwestern U.S. will be heading toward Wisconsin.

It could push temps next Wednesday, July 26 into the 90s. Low 100s are also possible across southern Wisconsin for several days next week. Lake Michigan may help keep temperatures down for lakeshore communities.

Recently, in 2022 and 2021, southeast Wisconsin had a large number of above-average, 90 degree days. There hasn't been heat like that this year, but anticipate a hot and humid week ahead.